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MDCAN Issue FG 21-day Ultimatum, Threaten Strike

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The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over non-universal implementation of CONMESS for all medical and dental doctors irrespective of the agencies of the government they represent.

MDCAN stated this in its communiqué issued at the end of its extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, signed by its President, Dr Victor Makanjuola, and Secretary-General, Dr Yemi Raji on Tuesday.

The communiqué addressed the non-implementation of the agreed upward review of CONMESS and the introduction of Accoutrement Allowance with the Nigerian Medical Association, as against the circular that captured the percentage increase only on the basic salary, instead to both the basic salaries and all other allowances except hazard allowance.

The communiqué read, “This error has resulted in the complete exclusion of the clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) from benefitting from the upward review. The commencement date for the new circular was agreed to be January 1, 2023, rather than June 1, 2023”.

“We believe this error will be corrected without delay. The recent upward review of CONMESS did not take into consideration the consequences of the fuel subsidy removal and exponential inflation that has pervaded our socio-economic space in the past three months”.

“Despite our Association’s decision to keep faith with the engagement and negotiations with the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission for more than two years regarding the correction of the shortfalls in remuneration for Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants), the issue is yet to be conclusively addressed by the Federal Government”.

The council decried the failure of the government to appreciate the magnitude of the impacts of brain drain in the health sector, as exhibited by the refusal of the National Council on Establishment to approve the Federal Ministry of Health’s proposal on the upward review of the age of retirement to 70 years for Medical and Dental Consultants and 65 years for other Health workers, as an immediate measure to bridge the ongoing massive brain drain.

The council said the government has failed to resolve the ongoing disputes with the National Association of Residents Doctors and its attendant impacts on access to health care by Nigerians, and the kidnapping of doctors in the country.

“The NEC hopes that all these issues will be satisfactorily resolved within the next 21 days, failing which it can no longer guarantee the present relative industrial harmony within the government hospitals and our medical schools”.